The inferior Clip Jam is bad business thinking from Sandisk

Bottom line: It is not good business to move away from small mp3 players, when audiobooks and podcasts are growing fast among 18-35 year-old population! So, stop making pointless savings with the new products!

Sandisk seems to be getting rid of mp3 players, if one looks at their recent ‘up(i.e. down)grades’. Clip Jam is a maddeningly inferior product when compared to Clip Zip: worse screen, painful time lags when resuming or rewinding audiobooks, worse locking system, etc. This is frustrating , since the savings from downgrading had to be rather minimal. Instead of designing a new product, they could have kept producing the old model.

I understand that this kind of cheap consumer product does not get much strategic attention from Sandisk. And sure, the sales of mp3 players have been going down, because people use their phone and streaming services for music.

However, there are still important, and growing use cases for small mp3 players. Music streaming may destroy the old market, but sales growth of audiobooks is exploding, particularly among the young. The listening of podcasts is growing fast. For digital heavy users, an mp3 player is still the optimal gadget in a number of situations. For instance, for running, gym, etc. the phone is not practical. It is too heavy, needs a pouch, etc., and you do not want to carry over $1000 phone when you are running in rain or in -15C temperature.

It is the young and techsavvy that will be using your mp3 players for audiobooks and podcasts in the future. No point in forgetting this lucrative future market.

So, Sandisk, please stop this foolishness and return making and improving your quality products! I do not even mind if you increase the price.

@heavyuser wrote:


Instead of designing a new product, they could have kept producing the old model.


While I (and others) are equally as disappointed with the newer models of mp3 players from SanDisk, it is my understanding that the processor used in the older models was discontinued from that manufacturer, so continuation of those models was impossible.

They can only build what they can get the parts for. :wink:

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I can’t help but wonder, wasn’t there an improved replacement chip that could have been chosen?  I simplisticly assume there must have been, but easily (likely?) could be wrong.  It’s just that with technology, one typically gets more at a lower price over time, and one would just assume (yes, danger in doing so) that this would apply to a replacement chip for the Clip family.

Such a shame (and let-down) . . . .

from what i understand there really isn’t a better chip for this type of device. Basically what you have out there is the chip they are using in the Sport/Jam and a much more expensive smart phone type of controller. There is not all that much in between and a smart phone chip is overkill for a device like this. Maybe sandisk can work with a controller manufacturer sometime in the future to spin a new controller somewhere between what is used in smart phones and what is in the Sport/Jam but there would like be significant cost involved in that so a shrinking market would probably be taken into consideration. 

@miikerman wrote:

I can’t help but wonder, wasn’t there an improved replacement chip that could have been chosen? 

There are many other possible replacements (IMX or Ingenic for instance), or they could have just kept paying AMS to make the old processors (they were the only customer for the AS3525v2 which is why it was discontinued with the Clip).  

I think instead the idea was to further reduce costs by outsourcing the whole product (chip, player, software).  That way they don’t have to make firmware anymore, etc.  

The Jam seems aimed at those who are thinking about buying an ipod Shuffle. Those of us who are used to using a Rockboxed Clip+ or Clip Zip are spoiled. We got so much for so little. As bad as the Clip Sport and Clip Jam seems when compared to a Rockboxed Clip+ or Clip Zip, the Clip Jam is still so much better than the more expensive ipod Shuffle. The Clip Jam has a card slot, FM radio, and a display, all of which the ipod Shuffle lacks.